tv Public Affairs CSPAN January 17, 2013 10:00am-1:00pm EST
at facebook.com, and our twitter page, @cspanwj. i apologize for not getting to a lot of those comments. we appreciate you being with us this morning. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> we are likely to hear more about the gun issue at 12:30 eastern when vice president joe biden speaks at the annual winter meeting of the u.s. conference of mayors. the event happening one day after the white house announced its plan for reducing gun
violence. a plan endorsed by philadelphia mayor michael nutter, who currently serves as president of the conference. the vice president speaking at 12:30 eastern, live on c-span. and at 6:30, pbs host tavis smiley, holds his annual forum focusing on poverty in america. former g.o.p. presidential candidate and speaker of the house, newt gingrich, and ohio representative, marshall fudge, are among the several panelists who will examine the issue and possible solutions. the discussion's entitled a vision for america, future without poverty. tomorrow night a look back at inaugurations from the past from harry truman's 1949 inaugural to president george w. bush swearing-in and speech from 2001. we'll see and hear presidents of the past 60 years on the day they officially took office. our coverage features universal news reels, footage from the senate recording studio, and presidential library supplementing our own c-span recordings. that's friday at 8:00 p.m. eastern. and c-span's coverage kicks off
this weekend as president obama begins his second term. sunday the official swearing-in ceremony at the white house live shortly before noon earn. our -- eastern. oosh coverage sunday begin was your phone calls and begins with the president's 2009 inaugural address at 10:30 a.m. eastern. on monday the public swearing-in ceremonies, capitol luncheon, and afternoon parade down pennsylvania avenue. our live coverage begins at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span, c-span radio and c-span.org. throughout the day join the conversation by phone, facebook, and on twitter we are using the #inaug 2013. >> the greatest honor history can bestow is the title of peacemaker. this honor now beckons america. the chance to help lead the world at last out of the valley of turmoil and on to that high
ground of peace that man has dreamed of since the dawn of civilization. >> we will embark on a bold new program, or scientific advances, and industrial progress available for the improvement and growth of underdeveloped areas. >> this weengd on american history tv, public radio's back story with the american history gods. they explore the history and traditions of presidential inaugurations. live saturday morning at 11:00 eastern, part of three days of american history tv. right through inauguration day on c-span3. >> next, newtown connecticut school superintendent janet robinson speaks as part of a panel testifying before the house democratic policy and staring committee, the meeting was held yesterday shortly after president obama announced a plan for producing gun violence. other speakers include philadelphia mayor, michael nutter, who you just saw, and
the mother of a capitol hill staffer who was killed in the shooting that injured former arizona congresswoman gabrielle giffords in tucson, arizona in 2011. this is two hours. >> good afternoon, everyone. thank you-all very much for joining us on this very solemn and important occasion for the american people. just one -- over one month ago our nation was shocked and horrified by the news of the shooting at sandy hook elementary school in newtown, connecticut. 20 children, six teachers and educators were taken from us at gun point. an act of senseless and incomprehensible violence struck at the heart of our families, of our schools, of our communities across the country.
earlier this month shortly after newtown, all members of congress took an oath to protect and defend the constitution and the american people. to protect and defend, that is our first responsibility. today leaders of the house democratic caucus have come together to fulfill that duty to confront the challenge of gun violence in our society to enact, to ensure the safety and security of our communities. under the leadership of congressman thomson, mike thompson, our gun violence prevention task force keeps growing in number. our colleagues are submitting recommendations for legislation, the task force is working with outside organizations, and sharing the latest information on gun violence and steps we can take and must take to end it. today to strengthen the efforts
of this task force and our democratic caucus, we will hear from americans with personal and professional experiences with gun violence. and with critical expertise on how and why we must protect it. it's really an emotional occasion for many here. we thank them for sharing their grief to help other people be safe, to sharing their experience to help us all honor our oath of office. our witnesses hail from every walk of life, education, academia, law enforcement, and public service. we are stroorl grateful to have with us, dr. janet robinson, superintendent of schools of newtown, connecticut. dr. emily nottingham, mother of gabe zimmerman, all of you may know was the victim in tucson nearly two years ago. chief scott knight, police
department from minnesota to give us a school from middle america, from rural areas. and mayor michael nutter, president of the u.s. conference of mayors who has been a leader on this issue for a very long time. your voices and your contributions are playing a critical role in our effort to take these long overdue actions. we look forward to hearing your ideas and testimony and answering the call to action on gun violence prevention. we are especially pleased to be doing so on a day when our president, as we continue to mourn with the families of newtown, has told us that the time for action is now. we must do everything in our power to stop such terrifying violence in the future. we recognize these challenges are not new, and as president obama said so eloquently in the days following the shooting, we can't tolerate this any more.
these tragedies must end, and to end them we must change, he said. and today the president put his proposals on the table. he outlined 23 executive actions his administration is taking right now. he demanded action from congress on establishing universal background check system, restoring the ban on assault weapons, banning high capacity assault magazines, putting more police officers on our streets. we must address issues of mental health to keep weapons out of the hands of those in danger of doing harm to themselves or to others. these commonsense proposals, among others, represents steps we can take and must take right away to put a stop to the violence. as the president said today, this time must be different. we agree. we cannot permit any more time to go by without action. we owe it to the families of the victims in newtown and aurora, oak creek, tucson, virginia
tech, columbine. the list goes on almost every day across our country in shootings across america. i'm very pleased to turn the meeting now over to the co-chairs of our steering and policy committee, congresswoman rosa delaura, and congressman rob andrews. we are pleased to be joined by our chair of the judiciary committee, congressman john conyers and the chair of our gun violence prevention task force congressman mike thompson. we thank you, mike, for your leadership. we are also joined by our distinguished whip, steny hoyer. with that i'm going to yield to steny for a moment and then to our co-chairs. >> i thank you very much, madam leader, and chairman andrews on the steering committee for scheduling this. obviously critically and very timely hearing and look forward to hearing from the witnesses. clearly all of us as the president indicated in his talk
today and presentation of his program and signing of executive orders, we all feel the urgency of responding to the dangers that our communities confront when the distribution of guns and large capacity magazines and with the status of our mental health observations of folks who ought not have guns and make sure we know who is getting weapons of great danger to our community. so i appreciate the witnesses. i welcome them. it is obviously an extraordinarily timely hearing. witness the attendance and interest of the media and the public. thank you very much for being here. thank you, madam leader. >> chairwoman, delauro.
>> thank you very much, madam leader. i want to say thank you to the leader for calling this hearing. i'm also pleased to join rob andrews, co-chair of the steering and policy committee and my other colleagues here today. i want to say a thank you to the distinguished panel for taking time to join with us. in fact it is such a distinguished panel. let me just for a moment i want to personally thank and acknowledge all of you, but i have to say a welcome to our visitor from connecticut, superintendent janet robinson of newtown. the public school system. and i know that janet has been working with families, children, teachers, first responders, and an unbelievable organization of the child study center in new haven, along with dr. marins, on ways to help people work through this tragedy with their students. i look forward to hearing more about this and to the testimony. last month at sandy hook a place where children should be safe to
learn and to grow, the incomprehensible actions of a young man suddenly devastated a small town community. six adults, 20 innocent children, all of them between six and seven years old, were murdered in cold blood. we have seen similar acts of terror and evil in aurora and portland and littleton and blacksburg, oakland and tucson. all across our country. so we see the loss of life every day from gun violence all across this nation. after the unthinkable tranldy in newtown, president obama spoke to the country and he asked us, are we doing enough to protect our children? the answer he admitted is no. and that must change. that is why we are here today. today's hearing we'll hear from people who deal with the effects of gun violence every day. the wide range of experience and expertise from these panelists will facilitate a discussion on the common sense and constructive steps we must take to ensure these sorts of
tragedies will never happen again. i have a letter from the teachers of newtown which i will enter into the record, but i will just share with you one sentence, and it reads, in our schools we need to strike the right balance to ensure that schools are nurturing while also safe. and we need to strike the right balance so that schools do not become armed for tresses -- fortresses where kids aren't able to be kids. the voice of educators is critical to ensuring that we find and maintain this balance between safety and learning. as we move forward during this difficult time, collaboration, communication, valuing the voice and experience of all the members of our community, teachers, educators, law enforcement officials, the affected families will be essential to making our schools and our streets safer, stronger, and more united. that's why we are here today to prevent another sandy hook. we'll all have to work together to end gun violence. i hope that we can continue that conversation today and how best to accomplish this and make our
children safer. thank you. >> i'd like to thank our leader and my co-chair and my colleagues for this honor. we come to this room today from many different places and many different backgrounds. the last few months we have seen too many of our fellow countrymen gunned down on the streets of american towns and cities every day. i represent camden, new jersey, a city of 80,000 people, had 70 homicides last year. we have seen our neighbors die in shopping malls and movie theaters, college campuses, and horrifically, 31 days ago, an elementary school. we are bonded together in this room today by one common conviction and that is our belief that this is not inevitable. we can make choices to stop this from happening again. we believe that consistent with good medical practice we can
improve our mental health system so that people who are demonized and tortured can get help. we believe that consistent with good law enforcement practice we can make our schools and our campuses and our public places safe in a responsible way. and, yes, we believe that consistent with the second amendment to the constitution of the united states and consistent with the common sense of the american people, that we can pass a law that makes it so that no one can own a gun that can fire 30 bullets in 30 seconds. and that no one who has already proven they are a risk to soinl will have opportunity to buy any gun at all. we look forward to the perspective of the witnesses on these very pressing questions. i thank our colleagues and i know we are going to hear from the ranking member of our judiciary committee, mr. conyers. >> thank you so much. it's important that we recognize
that the president of the united states, the vice president of the united states, our leader pelosi here in the congress, and all of the members assembled here are committed to deal for the very first time this horrible gun violence that is going on and deal with it in a meaningful way. so i thank all of the witnesses for being here. i join with all my colleagues in the very importance of this matter. we have at least five members of the house judiciary committee here. and i just want to close with this one point that has now
become important. and that is addressing the mental health crisis in our country in which so many people suffer from some form of a mental problem. so i applaud you all for being here, and i look forward to this very important call to action. >> thank you, mr. conyers. i would like to introduce the chair of the task force in the house of representatives, mike thompson of california. >> thank you very much, madam chair. leader pelosi, thank you for organizing today's hearing. thank you to all the witnesses who came to share this your expertise and experiences with us. as a hunter and gun owner, i believe we should protect law-abiding individual's second amendment right to own a firearm. as a dad and grandfather i also believe that we have a very
important responsibility to make sure that our schools, our streets, and our communities are safe. and i know we can do both. one thing's real clear. now is the time for action. there's too much gun violence. and there's no set of laws that will end the horrific shootings and senseless acts of violence, but that's no excuse for sitting around and doing nothing. the time is now. as the chair of the gun violence prevention task force, i'm working on a comprehensive approach to reduce gun violence. i have met with everybody. republicans, democrats, gun right groups, gun safety groups, mental health exhe sperts, educational leaders, people from the -- experts, educational leaders, people from the movie industry, hunting and sportsman groups, law enforcement leaders, and the vice president of the united states of america, and with my constituents. we know this is a complex issue and in order to make any meaningful progress it's going to take a complex solution.
but every idea needs to be on the table and everyone needs to be at that table in order for us to be successful. so thank you all for coming today. thank my colleagues for coming with your ideas. there's some great ideas out there. and i know that working together we can protect -- put public policy in place that will make our communities safer and at the same time protect law-abiding americans' rights to own a firearm. thank you. >> pervasiveness of this problem that many people in this room have felt in their own lives the heavy burden of the pain associated with this issue. some are on this dais and one we'll hear from is representative carolyn mccarthy from new york. >> thank you. i thank everybody for being here. each time there's a shooting, especially over the last -- i
have been working on this issue for 18 years now, and everybody thinks that this closure for victims. there is never closure for victims. it never goes away. every time there's a shooting, each and every one of us goes through that moment when the tragedy happened to our family. my husband died, but my son was severely injured. left paralyzed. it was during that time that he was learning how to speak again, he asked me why? i didn't have the answer. and i'm saying this because it's grassroots, people like us, that unfortunately went through this tragedy, that we are the ones that want to do the best we can to make sure no other family goes through what we have already gone through. many here, they have already experienced that. i will say that this is the first time in a long, long time since president clinton that i actually have real hope that we can get something done to save lives. it's been a tough battle, and i
would say to so many of the victims out there, there are times when we lose faith. there are times when we kind of want to give up. and all i can say is we can't give up. and the shootings have only gotten worse, and there are things we could have done so many years ago that could have prevented so many of these killings. not only the mass killings, it's also the shootings that happen every single day. since what happened in connecticut with those children and the teachers, 900 people have died from gun violence. i keep count. i keep count. because it's going to be up to all of us to try to talk to some of our members on both sides of the aisle that we as americans will stand with them if they stand with us on trying to reduce gun violence. they do not have to be afraid of the radical n.r.a.
i say that because there are many gun owners in this country that are good citizens and they should not be tagged with some of these atrocities that are happening. and it's those that we have to call upon to reach out to their members of congress throughout this country because we are here to do the right thing. the president and the vice president are there to do the right thing. and they are going to use their office. but if we as americans don't also raise our voice, then this will begin another losing battle. we cannot afford to lose another battle. we have common sense issues to stop gun violence holistically, but when it comes down to trk the assault weapons -- to it, the assault weapons, large magazines made for our police officers and military, have no right to be on the street, and
they do not. and i will say to you as our leader has said, we are all take the oath of the constitution of the united states. we have never tried to infringe on that to legal gun owners. in the package that our coalition which agrees with the president and vice president, can make a difference. we know we can't save every single life. i was a nurse for many years before i came here. and the best of the best couldn't save every single life, but that doesn't mean that we couldn't try to make sure that we did as much as we could to save those lives. that is what we are fighting for. it's heartening to see everybody here. and it was so heartening to see people this morning at the white house that really care about this issue and have been
fighting this issue for longer than me. victims that i haven't seen in 10, 15 years still out there fighting. we can make a difference. because this time it is different. it is different because those children, those children are an example of what happens daily in this country, and it has to stop. we are americans. we are better than that. we are better than that. and we cannot allow a group, a small minority of this country, to stop us from doing the right thing. thank you. [applause] >> now it gives me great pleasure to introduce a newly
elected colleague from connecticut who will introduce our first witness and that is congresswoman elizabeth evidenty -- esty from connecticut and in whose district sandy hook elementary school resides. and what we will do is to have all of the various members introduced -- introduce our witnesses and then we will proceed with the testimony. congresswoman esty. >> thank you so much to my good friend rosa delauro. and thanks to all of you for being with us here today as witnesses to what happened in our community of newtown, connecticut, and as a call to action for what we must do as a country. i'm honored today to have the chance to interdues janet robinson who has become a good friend, who is a true american hero who responded in a time of unbelievable tragedy. for five years dr. janet
robinson has served as the superintendent of schools in newtown, connecticut. throughout her career she has shown a constant and loving commitment to education and emproving the lives of children. in addition to having served as superintendent of schools in three different connecticut communities, janet has served as a teacher, a school counselor, and a school psychologist. i met janet in the firehouse which was the emergency center of newtown, connecticut, on the afternoon of the shootings. janet was greefing. she was there with parents -- grieving. she was there with parents of children who didn't know if their children were going to come home. as we know 20 of them did not. and the next morning this brave woman sat around a conference table with the board of ed members of her community and began planning for how to protect those children and those families. how to reopen a school and get
children back to learning. she is an extraordinary person. she was putting sandy hook community first, the teachers, the children, and those families. and thinking about what she did. she did it all the time with her heartbroken for her friends who were cut down on that terrible day. janet, i know you will provide invaluable expertise to us in today's hearing. you are an expert on children, on teaching, but most importantly and for our purposes today, you are an expert on the price of inaction. you are an expert because newtown has paid this price. your children pay this price. your teachers pay this price. your administrator pays this price. and the community paid a price. you speak with unquestionable authority on that subject. you have lived what has happened when we as political leaders don't act. you can speak to us here today
on who these people were, tell us about don hochsprung, the extraordinary principal -- dawn hochsprung, the extraordinary principal and leader of that school. the extraordinary children, several of these parents who came today at the president's announcement, who these aides were, who these families are, and the extraordinary community that you are a member of. what we need to do here today and with your help and guidance, you need to help us about how to prevent tradgedirks how to save lives, how to ensure no other community endures what newtown, connecticut, has gone through. what happens now we could not prevent what happened then, but we can go forward. this is about what happens now. i want to thank you for your extraordinary leadership and courage in your community and in coming here today. thank you so very much. >> our next introducer is someone who bears both the physical and emotional scars of
this issue. he stood by the side of our colleague, gabby giffords, on the day that horrific event in arizona. he has stood by her ever since. now he occupies her seat. congressman ron barber of arizona. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, madam leader, for bringing us together to hear from this panel and to reflect on what we as a nation can do to prevent any kind of reoccurrence. it's my honor today to introduce emily nottingham. she's from tucson. emily and i have known each other for a long time, even before i knew her son. she worked for 30 years in the city of tucson as an administrator for affordable housing community development and social services and held that position until her retirement not too long ago. beyond that she has acted in many community organizations and i'm very proud to say she was
one of the first people to join the advisory board for the fun for civility for respect and understanding, an organization that my family and i established shortly after the shooting in tucson. she's also an outdoors person as was her son, and is on the board of the arizona trail association and many other nonprofits. she's also the proud mother of two young men. ben and gabe zimmerman. when i was district director for congresswoman giffords, gabe was the first person we hired. he was my transition buddy. we worked in a small office. i called it an office, gabe called it a closet, but it was a place where we put together the management of congresswoman giffords' staff and offices early on. he was my go-to guy. a young man with such compassion and caring that it's just beyond
pale to think he's no longer with us. he learned about service from his mother. she served as i said for many years people who are disadvantaged in our community. it was gabe who set up the congresswoman's meeting on that fateful day on january 8. he was killed at that event. he died right beside me as i lay after being shot myself. i will never, ever forget the image of gabe dying by my side. i know for certain that his last action was to come and try to help us, help congresswoman giffords, help me, help judge john role, and for doing that he was shot. some of us here in congress meet regularly in a room that is named in his honor, the gabe zimmerman room. and every time i go there for
meetings, i remember this young man. his mother has been very active since. she's always been active in our community, but particularly active since the tragedy in tucson. she is willing and able to speak at any number of event and has done so, to lend her personal understanding of what it means to lose a son in a tragedy like this. we were shot with a glock, clip, magazine i should say, that had 33 bullets in it. i know we need to do something about that. i noemly wants to do something about it as well. it's my great honor to welcome emily nottingham to hear her testimony this afternoon. thank you. >> now hear from our colleague, keith ellison from minnesota, to the introduction of chief scott knight. >> thank you madam chair and madam leader, on behalf of my colleague, betty mccollum, and i
i'm grad to introduce scott knight t. but i would be remiss if i did not mention that mayor r.t. rybeck, is here with us and mia rahim who tragically lost her father in an act of gun violence not more than a few months ago. thank you all for being here. chief scott knight started his career with the chaska police department in 1976 and has been a police chief since 2000. the city is located only a short distance from the twin cities. chief knight was appointed to the international association of chiefs of police executive committee and has served as chair of the iacp firearms committee from 2005 to 2012. he's been a leader in law enforcement's fight against gun violence and law enforcement is
a key constituency if we are going to bring this spate of gun violence under control. chief knight has also not only been a leader to fight against gun violence, but also violence against officers and the illegal gun trade. in 2010 the iacp joined nine other major law enforcement organizations to form the national law enforcement partnership to prevent gun violence. chief knight was chairman of the partnership during its first year. in 2008 chief knight received the minnesota tcheefs of police association's president's award for his work on gun violence and other safety issues. officers safety issues as well. he has testified before congress before and is an expert in this area and we are very pleased to greet you here today, chief, thank you. >> our final introducer is my
friend and neighbor from the city of philadelphia, congressman chaka fattah. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we are about to celebrate the life and legacy of dr. king and we are remooneded that on that balcony at the lorraine motel in memphis he was shot down. whether president reagan or president kennedy who were both shot, one killed and one almost fatally wounded, we are reminded here in washington all the time of the dangers of guns. that's why all of you went through the security protections to come into this building. and the supreme court that ruled that everyone has a right to bear arms also makes it clear you can't bring them into the supreme court. so -- that's because we actually know that guns are dangerous. and that -- as much as people may proclaim one thing, you have to look at the actions. on the floor of the house we saw
members shot down once. that's why we have bulletproof things and other kinds of protections. mayor nutter is one who as someone growing up in west philadelphia, the best place in the world to grow up, as a former councilman and now as second term mayor of our city is in so many respects america's mayor now. he's the president of the u.s. conference of mayors. we worked together on gun buybacks. he's had to counsel families of police officers who have been killed, young children in our city. so as much as we might think about famous people who have been shot, there are literally dozens of children, over 50 a day shot every day in our country. mayor, it's good to see you and the good work of mayors against illegal guns. there's so much more that could be said, but it's much more important we hear from the witnesses. i want to welcome my friend and the leader of the united states
conference of mayors here today. we await his testimony. thank you. >> thank you, colleagues. we are honored by each of your presence and we would like to begin with an woman with incredible character and courage, dr. janet robinson. >> thank you very much. i'm here to give am face to the children, the staff, the families of sandy hook in newtown, connecticut. on a beautiful winter morning in december, buses dropped off their precious cargo. nearly 500 elementary children who filed in their school with the expectations of all little children that good things will be happening today. and little in the way of cares. maybe what's for lunch today? will i have a chance to play with my friends at recess? in the first three classrooms in the front hallway, the little first graders' coats were hung up and the morning routines began with their circle time on the rug with their teacher.
there they discussed the calendar, the activities of the day, along with an activity for responsive classroom. this was the typical routine of sandy hook elementary school, a place that excudes -- exudes caring, happiness, nurturing from the moment you walkthrough the doors. if you pass a child or an adult in the halts, you'll get a smile and cheerful greeting. children's work is posted in the halls so you know you are in a kid place immediately. sandy hook elementary school seemed like the safest place on earth in this quiet little suburban community. this school has been known for the superb education that students received for over 50 years and has been acknowledged as a vanguard school. not only has it been a high achieving school, but its tradition of caring about the whole child is well-known and part of that tradition. this school is an important piece of the fabric of this
community. that morning was like every other morning. after all, routines are comforting for kids. until about 9:30. when a troubled young man carrying two guns, one of them an ar-15, assault rifle, shot out the glass window to buy pass the buzz-in system at the door and changed the lives of so many people in the next few minutes. he first went to the office directly across from the front door where normally three secretaries would be working. only one was there at the time and she flew under her desk dragging the phone with her. fortunately he didn't check. then he went back out in the hall where he was confronted by the principal, dawn hochsprung, the lead teacher, natalie hammond, and the school psychologist who emerge interested a meeting in a conference room. i can just picture dawn's indignation that someone would dare enter her school and put her babies at risk.
it would be so like her to be the protective mother hen and never think of her own safety, but only of course of making him stop right then and there. i can visualize her trying to take charge of this unthinkable threat. dawn, ever the passionate educator, would do anything to protect her charges. that's where they found the bodies of dawn and mary rushing toward the attacker. natalie, fortunately, survived the attack with serious injuries. the shooter bypassed the first grade classroom on the left and began shooting in the second first grade classroom. killing the school's permanent substitute teacher, lauren, and all but one child who was clever enough to play dead and didn't even whimper. by this time the teacher in the third room had crammed at many children as possible in the bathroom, was trying to find hiding places for the others when the teacher took aim on her and her students.
vicky soto, who was so excited to finally reach her dream to be a teacher, threw herself in front of her students. such incredible bravery from a young first grade teacher. ann marie murphy was the educational assistant for a young boy who was in special needs and she died trying to shield him. as was the case of rachel, a behavior therapist. none of these brave women were trained in combat. they were elementary school educators dedicated to educating their young children so their first response when confronted by this terror was to protect their children. thank goodness for our first responders, they arrived in three minutes, which is incredible in a town of 60 square miles, mainly country roads. they saved innumerable lives as the shooter carried enough ammunition to continue throughout the entire school. and this loving little
elementary school was helpless in the face of this assault. 20 beautiful and innocent little first graders were lost that day in a senseless act. they were no match for a troubled person with an ar-15. at the firehouse where we had all gathered to try to sort through the event of the day, the true horror of the assault began to become apparent as parents came running, crying to the station looking for their children. as we released children to their parents, we began to realize we didn't have enough children. there were parents without children. it was then i was beginning to realize the magnitude of this horror. six dedicated educators were lost, including a phenomenal principal, dawn hochsprung. who took over the leadership of sandy hook 2 1/2 years ago. she was an experienced principal whose fashion for this important work was immediately evident. she had a vast knowledge, good
instruction, and coached her already effective teachers to stretch even further for excellence. she truly enjoyed being an elementary principal and joined in the fun of the elementary school in guso -- gusto. whatever the theme day was, she was all in. she might show up at a district administrator's meeting in pajamas or fuzzy slippers, or dressed like a fairy princess. the students knew she liked to have fun as part of the learning. yet she was serious about ensuring that every child had a highly effective teacher. she, along with her colleagues lost that day, represent a huge loss to the futures of all those children they would have impacted in their professional lives. now we as a community are struggling to pick up the pieces and determine what this new normal looks and feels like. our sense of security has been chattered. innocent children and the people who teach them were gunned down. we are all forever changed. some families have a huge hole left by a 6-year-old who should
be doing the funny, silly things that 6-year-olds do. families who have their children are still suffering through the nightmares and fears of sounds and strangers. children who are even fearful in their own classrooms. who knows what the long-term impact will be for those children who have had the innocence of childhood shattered. what do i say to the parents who want to be assured that when they put their children on the bus to school they will come home? how do i protect our students without creating fortresses? how do we let our children freely enjoy being children? i have heard that the measure of a society is how they treat their children. so help me give these children their futures. i would just like to share with you as one final thought a fourth grade student,
congresswoman pelosi, sent you a letter. her name is ava. she says i am a fourth grade student in newtown, connecticut. after the shooting in my town i started an online petition asking for help from the president and congress to change the gun laws. it got a lot of support from all over america, but then i had to take it down because the police were worried about my safety. what everyone in newtown wants is for you to ban semiautomatic weapons and large capacity magazines and make everyone use guns safely. this is important so that a person cannot shoot many people at once and/or injure people badly. semiautomatic weapons and large capacity magazines end lives and put lives at risk. this ban will help prevent individuals, families, and communities from suffering the way we are now in newtown. in newtown's municipal center there are hundreds of thousands of cards and pictures from children and adults from all over america. it's so sad. i think the people should -- against changing gun laws should
walkthrough the long howlway and read one card out of every box to realize how many people want this change. we would all appreciate anything you can do to help. sincerely, ava s. this is some of the thousands and thousands of cards and letters that are gathered in the hall. it's shows the support and feeling among the people in this country. thank you for doing what you're doing here. [applause] >> dr. robinson, that deeply wounded community is so fortunate to have a person of your strength and character to guide. we are so thankful you are with us here today and moved by what you said. >> thank you. >> the mayor of philadelphia, the president of the conference of mayors, if there are any
other mayors that you would like to acknowledge, mayor, are you welcome -- i understand mayor marr of new jersey is here. welcome. [applause] if there's others, mayor, feel free to welcome them. 345euor nutter. >> leader pelosi and chairman delauro, chairman andrews, and all the members of the house democratic steering and policy committee. let me first say you make me very proud. i'm very proud of the opportunity to be with you and more importantly that you have taken the time to try to address these issues. i'm michael a. nutter, mayor of the city of philadelphia, president of the u.s. conference of mayors. we are joined by a number of --
we are joined today by a number of mayors. i know, saw earlier mayor ryback, mayor warren, and a number of us are also members of the organization, mayors against illegal guns, which has provided tremendous leadership by mayors bloomberg and manino. to all the mayors who are here, thank you for your leadership as well. i'm honored to appear before you this afternoon on behalf of the u.s. conference of mayors to discuss with you the views of the nation's mayors on what we must do to reduce gun violence in this nation and to make our
cities andtowns, our streets, our schools, our theaters -- and towns, our streets, our schools, our theaters, places of worship safer places for all our people. again and again and again americans have been stunned by senseless violence and acts of violence involving guns. december 14, 2012 tragedy targeting young children in newtown remains incomprehensible. too many times during the last year mayors have expressed shock at a mass shooting. even more frequently, many of us must cope with gun violence that occurs on the streets of our cities every day. the u.s. conference of mayors has been calling for sensible gun laws to protect the public for more than 40 years. mayors and police chiefs from cities of all sizes have worked
together in this effort for decades. we have done this because of the tremendous toll which gun violence takes on the american public day in and day out. let me share some additional numbers with you. every year in america more than 100,000 people are shot. 37,537 of them die, including 11,583 who are murdered. every year 18,000 children and teenagers are shot. 2,829 of them die, including 1,888 who are murdered. every day in america 2le 2 -- 282 people are shot and 86 die, including 32 who are murdered.
every day 50 children and teens are shot and eight of them die, including five who are murdered. if this was disease killing that many people, if this were accidents killing that many people, if this were bags of tainted spinach killing that many people this country would immediately take swift action to stop that kind of death toll. but somehow, some seemingly paralyzed when it comes to guns and violence, but i would only repeat what congresswoman mccarthy said. this time is different. and it must be.
gun violence disproportionately affects urban areas. our 50 largest metro areas have 62 center cities, and these cities account for 15% of the population, but 39% of gun related murders, and 23% of total homicides. philadelphia, like many major cities, has struggled to control gun violence for years. however despite our recent successes and employing more effective policing techniques, deaths due to gun violence have not dramatically fallen. but use one set of statistics to illustrate this point. last year the number of shooting victims in philadelphia was 1,282. this is actually down considerably from the year before. and was the lowest number since we began tracking shooting victims in 2000. however the number of homicides
was actually slightly up last year. 331. seven more than the previous year. how are these two statistics possible? the answer is, is that the homicide victims have more bullets killing them. put it another way. there are more rounds being fired and more intentional head hots. so despite -- head shots. so despite better policing, when someone in philadelphia is shot, unfortunately they may be more likely to die even though there are fewer shooting victims. we had an 11% increase last year in philadelphia in head shots. we had a 30% increase in the number of bullets found at scenes measuring more than 20 rounds at a location. let me note that pennsylvania does not have stringent gun
restrictions. when the city of philadelphia adopted stricter gun laws a few years ago, the state supreme court struck some of those laws down. that is why we need federal legislation, comprehensive t. common sense federal legislation for all of us to be safe. [applause] cities alone cannot reduce gun violence by themselves. we are doing everything that we can, but still losing the battle thanks to the proliferation of guns in our nation. philadelphia's story is not unique. mayors everywhere struggle with gun violence, using scarce city resources to fight it. resources which we should be using to educate our children, create jobs for our residents, and revitalize our cities.
in an open letter to the president and the congress, sent just three days after the newtown massacre, we urged immediate action, and over 200 mayors signed on to that letter. we called on the president to exercise his powers through executive orders and the congress to introduce and pass legislation to make reasonable changes in our gun laws and regulations. specifically we called on congress to, one, enact legislation to ban assault weapons and other high capacity magazines being -- that is now being prepared by senator dianne feinstein and many others. two, strengthen the national background check system and eliminate loopholes in that system. three, strengthen the penalties for straw purchases of guns. today of course president barack obama and vice president biden released the administration's plan to reduce gun violence, both through new legislation and executive action.
i was honored to be at the white house earlier today for that release and i can tell you that the administration clearly listened closely to the recommendations which the mayors have offered. the nation's mayors urge the congress to give that report full consideration and to move swiftly forward on the legislative action that it requires. we know that preventing gun violence, whether it is mass shootings in a school or murder on a street corner will take much more than just strengthening our gun laws. we need to reverse the culture of violence in our nation so that violent acts are not the first response of settling a difference or compensating for a wrong. we need to strengthen and more adequately fund our mental health system so we can identify troubled individuals earlier and get them the help that they need. lastly, in addition to -- in addition, i personally support
the creation of a national commission on domestic terrorism, violence, and crime in america. which would examine the issues of violent crime and its prevention and put forward recommendations on what government can do on a local, state, and national level to reduce domestic terrorism, violence, and crime and prevent attacks such as those we witnessed in newtown, aurora, tucson, and at virginia tech. yesterday as mayor of philadelphia it i also announced and put forward for our city something i refer to now as the sandy hook principles. these principles are a called to action for corporations to heed the basic core values of american citizens in promoting the health, safety, and well-being of our communities. the objective of these principles is to influence the behavior of gun and ammunition manufacturers, distributors, and retailers by establishing a baseline standard for responsible conduct of their business.
i shared these principles with many other mayors around the country and we expect and during our conference we'll be reviewing and discussing them in the days ahead. let me be very clear, however. strengthening our gun laws should not have to wait for any of these other actions to occur. the time for action is now. the nation's mayors pledge to work with you to build a safer america for our children and for all of our citizens. lastly, let me say this as a father. i find it reprehensible, disgusting, and outside the bounds of human killing knit -- dignity that the n.r.a. would place an ad on television attacking president obama's daughters -- [applause] >> even in this at times
outrageous business of politics, which we are all engaged, we must have the sense to not attack the families and children of those of us engaged in public service. the n.r.a. has struck an incredibly new low in public discourse and that ad should be removed immediately. it has -- [applause] >> that ad has no place in the legitimate dialogue that must take place in order to make this country safer for all of us, especially our children. thank you, madam leader. [applause] >> thank you, mayor, for your powerful testimony. ms. nottingham, your son personified the selflessness of service that so many staff people who come here to serve our country do. we are very proud of him and we choose to continue his legacy of
public service. we are happy today that you are here to share your thoughts with us. welcome. >> thank you for having me. it's fitting that we are holding this meeting near the gabe zimmerman room. gabe was my son and a congressional staffer who worked with your colleague, congresswoman gabrielle giffords. on january 8, 2011, a man armed with high capacity magazines and a semiautomatic weapon he purchased at a big box store shot the congresswoman then turned on the people in the line to see here. he murdered six, including my son, and injured 13 people, including congressman ron barber, with 31 bullets before he tried to reload his magazine. . only then did citizen heroes have the opportunity to tackle him to the ground and disarm him. on that will sunny day those people, including a 9-year-old on that will sunny day those people, including a 9-year-old
girl not much older than the children killed in newtown were exercising their rights. their right to free of assembly, the right to freedom of speech. they were trying to be good citizens, participating in the democratic process. i'm sad beyond words at the death and injuries in tucson, aurora, newtown, and too many other places. i'm also angry that we, you and i, have made it so easy for these things to happen. we've allowed ourselves to overemphasize gun rights to the detriment of other rights, including the most important, the right to be alive. we've allowed our families to lose the feeling of safety at school, at their place of worship, at movies and, gabe, who had a palpable passion for social justice, would be furious. please, do not be swayed by the line that the only way to combat a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
in fact, there was a good guy with a gun at the tucson shooting but he almost mistakenly shot the citizen hero who had tackled the shooter. i don't want to carry around an assault rifle to go to the grocery store to buy broccoli or take a grandchild to soccer practice. i'm here to encourage you to tackle this serious public issue with resolve, with facts and with the complexity approach that it requires. i fully understand that we can't stop every shooting. but if we can take action and save some of our loved ones shouldn't we do everything we can? we've known some of the solutions for decades but have failed to act. we need better access to and funding of our mental health systems. we need universal background checks and to take assault weapons and high-capacity magazines off the streets. we need the c.d.c. to fully research gun violence.
i'm also here because i think it helps to bolster your resolve when you think of the victims as real people, not just statistics. gabe was like many of your staffers. young, idealistic it worked long hours on horrible takeout food and adrenaline. [laughter] he had plans that morning. picking a wedding location, helping his mom, that's me, hook up her tv, figuring out a birthday present for his fiancé. instead, he was shot in the head as he ran to help his boss by a man wielding weaponly solely to kill many people very quickly. have you ever had that nightmare where you knew you were supposed to be but couldn't get there? that was my january 8. as i searched hospitals to find my son who hadn't answered his cell phone and who i thought might be wounded.
it took hours to find out that he died before he hit the ground and his body was still on the sidewalk where he fell. when you're disheartened by the number of steps that have to be taken, by the fears of others, by the politics please dig deep and find new heart. think for a moment about your young staffers, your children or grandchildren. now imagine that cell phone in your pocket is vibrating and the message says they have been murdered by a stranger with an assault weapon. imagine that. then shore up your resolve and keep working to protect your staffers, our children, our nation. we need you to not give up. thank you. [applause]
>> thank you, miss nottingham. we aspire to equal your persistence and your commitment. thank you so much for that moving testimony -- and courage. we thank you for that moving system. this problem is prevalent in our cities but not only in our cities. our next witness knows that the sad national systemic affect of gun violence, chief scott knight. >> good afternoon. thank you, leader pelosi, for
the opportunity to speak before the committee and thank you, committee members. i've been involved in firearms policy and legislation for a long time. i've been a police officer for 36 years and chief for 12. i'm a former chair of the firearms committee and the former chair of the partnership to prevent gun violence. for many years we have worked to try and stop the madness and advert the tragedies we're seeing. these tragedies occur every day with real people, police officers included, losing their lives or suffering injury due the inadequacy of our gun laws. law enforcement is on the front lines of the gun violence epidemic. in 2011, for the first time -- first time in 14 years more law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty by
guns than any other means. approximately 2,000 children under the age of 18 are killed every year by guns. how very sad that it has taken such horrific mass murders, including those of the 20 small children in connecticut to get our attention. this debate about gun violence has been inaccurately depicted as here pro gun or anti-gun. this has stifled debate and a discussion to prevent gun violence. law enforcement is not anti-gun. we own guns, we work with guns, we carry guns. many are hunters. many pursue hunting, sporting, conservation issues.
we know that guns in dangerous hands have terrible consequences. we have seen the devastation caused by weapons with excessive firepower. federal law already deems certainly categories of people too dangerous to possess firearms. among them, felonies, fugitives, minors, and those who have been committed to a mental institution or adjudicated as mentally ill. the brady law enacted in 1994, established a national background check system. but those checks, as you know, are only required when someone is making a purchase from a federally licensed firearms dealer. a way around those checks is for a person to purchase at a gun show, an ad, or through a private party. we know, we've heard an estimated 40% of firearms are acquired through private
transactions, meaning a prohibited person can and does obtain a weapon without a background check. after the tragedy in newtown, the gun lobby funded in part by the gun makers, proclaimed that the solution to, quote, a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun, unquote. but the real solution is to prevent the bad guy from getting a gun in the first place is to do a background check. that's something a good guy does. from 1994 when the brady law took effect to 2009, by the way that is the last public data we could get, nearly two million prohibited purchases were blocked. twor million. can you imagine? can you imagine what the current data might be? you can imagine if background checks were required
universally. that's a lot of bad guys prevented from getting guns. that's good guys stopping bad guys. it is time to stop dangerous people from getting guns from any source. you can. congress must pass legislation requiring background checks for all purposes. we must also approve a national instant criminal background check system. known as niccs. states are behind and not reporting and too many states have not recorded records those who have disqualifying mental health issues. this must be fixed. assault weapons are not we need to ban high-capacity magazines. they are not legitimate sporting guns, nor were they designed for citizens to use in defending their homes. they were created to spray
bullets in rapid fire on a battlefield, not on our streets. this kind of firepower in our communities is simply irresponsible and facilitates mass murder. banning high capacity magazines will reduce the number of bullets a shooter can use before they must reload. from tucson, years, to baltimore county, maryland, perpetrators have been taken down while they're changing out magazines trying to reload. semiautomatic assault weapons already exist. and three should be treated the same way that we treat machine guns. they should be registered and those persons should go through a background check in order to possess them. the proposal to arm teachers and volunteers in our schools
is a distraction, and it is a -- and it is very dangerous. it opens a host of security issues. it is very difficult for a highly trained police officer to engage an active shooter. it takes a great deal of training and a great deal of training, something that our teachers, and our principals and our superintendents don't have the time and probably aren't inclined to do. police in schools, also known as school resource officers, help make schools safer by building relationships and trust and it's those relationships and trust, folks, that stop the bad guy before an event happens. we're not coming in after the fact. we have relationships to develop and glean information so we know when someone is in
trouble, so we know when someone is struggling, and we know they are threatening to do something because time and time again we have the evidence of it and it's typically the school resource officer who develops that relationships and gets that information and stops that event. it happens every day. because nothing happened, it does not make the news. i also want to stress that the a.t.f. needs a director in place as soon as possible. it has been six years. [applause] it has been six years that post has been vacant. you know and i know a serious light needs to be shined on the tee hart amendments and they need to be repealed and removed. [applause] all across the country, law enforcement and the public are calling upon congress to strengthen our nation's laws.
i dare say we're pleading. i ask that you heed our call and enact these very sensible measures that will prevent -- will prevent further bloodshed. thank you. >> thank you all very much for what has been a most extraordinary, a powerful testimony. and prescriptions for us to take back and thank you for giving us the strength and the resolve to help make these changes. we can't do it without you, and i think you know we hope that you know that we are with you in trying to make these changes. we are now going to move to questions. i will say this, i will introduce my colleague, mike thompson, to introduce a member
who is one of his vice chairs on the prestrengths of violence committee. i want to -- we're going to have a one-minute question, and that's going to be true when we get to dealing with our members. mr. thompson of california. >> thank you, madam chair. it gives me great pleasure to introduce one of the vice chairs on the task force to prevent violence. someone who's on the judiciary committee, an expert in juvenile justice and next week he'll be holding a hearing with grace napolitano, our colleague from california on juvenile justice and mental health issues, the gentleman from virginia, mr. bobby scott. >> thank you. thank you, madam leader. thank you, mr. chairman. i just want to point out that we've already had recommendations from the president and vice president. we'll have additional recommendations and so we know that we're going to have a serious response to the tragedy in newtown. but in addition to the
recommendations that we already have on gun safety and gun violence, specifically we also have to make recommendations to address violence generally and that must be done with a comprehensive approach. dr. carnell who is at the university of virginia frequently reminds us that if your school shooting prevention plan begins when the shooter is at the door, it's too late. so the youth promise act is one initiative that will replace the cradle to prison pipeline, the attorney general's blue ribbon commission report on how to reduce problems associated with children exposed to violence was published only a few months ago. it focuses on prevention and early intervention and uses the phrase evidence-based on virtually every page. it urges us to follow evidence and research and avoid slogans
and feel good approaches that are not effective. and so if we do what we know what to do and agree that our recommendations will conform to evidence-based approaches and sound research, we can have confidence that our recommendations will make a difference and that our children across the nation will be protected. we have people from virginia tech that i'd like to recognize. laura and the others who want to stand up, those associated with the virginia tech tragedy too. lori. [applause] >> thank you. what we're now going to do -- first of all, this has been an outpouring of member support for this effort. we've had over 60 members of the house of representatives here. we are not in session. there are no votes.
members have stayed because of their view of the importance of this issue and wanting to listen to your views. this is how we're going to handle the questions because there are so many. what we'll continue to do is as which have in the past is recognize members in the order that they come in to the hearing room. but we are going to ask members in batches of five to ask one question each. i will admonish, my colleagues, you will have one minute. and you're used to this -- to ask your question and then we'll have the panel answer those. honestly, what i'd like to do is do this in a 10-minute block of time so we can get around to as many questions as we can. the first grouping of questions are -- yes, madam speaker. >> if i just may, i want to join you in saluting the panel
today. it was called a call to action, and you certainly have heralded that call. i know that the mayor has to get back to work in philadelphia. we're honored by the presence of all of you. but mr. mayor, if you have to slip out, we understand that you have to get there. i want to thank you now, since we won't be able to acknowledge you at the end, thank you, mayor. >> thank you, madam leader. [applause] >> i will ask the following five members to kick it off. that's congresswoman eddie bernice johnson of california, congresswoman joyce beatty. she's gone. representative holt from new jersey, representative frankel from florida, representatives velazquez from new york, representative bon meche from -- bon michie from oregon. -- bonamici from oregon. >> thank you, madam chair. my question is probably a broad
one and widespread and probably directed to the mayor and the chief of police. with all of the budgetary restraints that we suffer throughout this country, and certainly here, do you think that you can have an effective program without federal funding? >> no. >> we will take all five questions at one time. mr. holt. >> thank you for the stories. they certainly make one cry, but they should make one angry and outraged and determined and complitted. -- committed. why is america so different in the statistics that you gave us, mayor nutter? >> you know, it's not that we have so much more mental illness or less mental health
care than other countries or so many fewer armed police or so many more defenseless students or it's not only american youth who play violent video games. it's not that we have so little information about bad guys and yet we have so many more gun deaths. what is -- what are the major distractions in these arguments that we have to guard ourselves against? because clearly over the decades we've been distracted from fuelly confronting the problem. -- from actually confronting the problem. >> thank you very much, madam chair. and thank you so much, panelists, for your moving testimony. my home state of oregon is one of the few states that actually requires universal background checks for all firearm sales. however, the recent shooting at the shopping mall, the shooter killed two before turning the gun on himself. he had stolen his assault
rifle. as we know, the newtown shooters used weapons owned by his mother. universal background checks are important, but what other steps can we take, how else can we address the situation that are not addressed by universal background checks? thank you. >> mr. moran. >> thank you. two things. columbine high school. we had an entire police school at virginia tech. but what i would like to principally focus on -- and i'll direct this to mayor nutter -- being from virginia, invariablely the n.r.a. points out philadelphia and d.c. and other major cities saying they have the toughest gun laws but look at all the gun crime. virginia is one of the major problems because what happens, even though governor wilder
limited handguns to one a month, they reversed it, the virginia legislature. so now people will go in and whether it's a gun show or whatever, buy cases of guns, transport them up 95 and then find a convenient urban street corner, open up the trunk and sell the guns. so i'd like the mayor to address that phenomenon and why it demands federal legislation. thank you. >> mr. kildee one minute and then i'll ask -- i am going to ask the mayor to answer the question first because he'll have to leave. mr. kildee. >> thank you, panel. thank you for your presence here and your testimony. i represent flint, michigan, where over the last few years one in every 540 residents have been slain. an amazing statistic. i talked to our prosecutor today. he's concerned that the guns he
sees on the street are held by teenagers. not a single one of them acquired legally. my question, and i suppose i'll ask you, chief, to comment on what federal support, local police chiefs, particularly places like flint and saginaw that i represent that have precious few local resources available, what federal support will be most helpful in dealing with this problem? >> mayor nutter. >> thank you, madam chair. i'll try to be really quick. madam leader pelosi and the two chairs, thank you for your accommodation with regard to my schedule and the opportunity. congresswoman johnson, you asked the question with regard to can we really -- we do what we do with what we have. but let me say this, and as part of my testimony, i talked about dealing with these issues
at the federal level. in the aftermath of 9/11, the united states of america said we will do whatever it takes to make sure that we are safe flying. what i want is someone to say, we are going to do whatever it takes walking. i want to be safe in my neighborhood. i want my children to be able to go to school. i want the same comparable response to international terrorism to the daily domestic terrorism that i see and other mayors all across the country experience on a regular basis. that's funding, that's personnel, that's equipment, that's support, it's technology. it's a focus on a regular basis that domestic terrorism is as important as international terrorism. you almost have to take all your clothes off to get on an airplane. one guy had a bomb in his shoe and now all of us, years later, are still taking our shoes off. that's fine. i want to be safe on an airplane. i like to be safe walking in my neighborhood as well, and all
of our children. so we can't do what we need to do without serious focused federal support, and that's what the commission is about. 9/11 commission told us what we needed to be doing to be safe in the air. we also need that same kind of response for safe on the ground. so that's the one answer. congressman holt, to your question. i think one of the reasons -- i do not believe that americans are that much more prone to violence. i don't think that philadelphiaans are that much more murderous than many other folks. but when you have almost as many guns as you have people in this country invariablely, they end up in the hands of folks who should not have them. we tried to pass in philadelphia, we did get this one done, the simple idea that you had to report your weapon lost or stolen. if you want to make a claim to your insurance company about your car, you have to report it
stolen. the n.r.a. fought that, sued me on my 100th day in office back in 2008. one of the proudest moments of my entire political career. [laughter] so it is a distraction. and the distraction is the n.r.a. and their money and their intimidating tactics. we have to be prepared to fight back. many of the similar ways, not what i talked about earlier in terms of the disgusting ad. they have done their best to gut and underfund through congress the atfe, not confirmed a director, taken away their ability to accumulate information for law enforcement purposes. if you're going to solve a problem, you need to know what problem you're frying to solve and you need data and information. they have taken every possible step to block that agency or the c.d.c. or anyone else. we can put a person on the moon, but i can't assure that you're going for safe walking around the corner.
we need data and information. gun locks and lockers. congresswoman bonamici. in connecticut, the person took his mother's weapons. one of the proposals out of what i released yesterday in philadelphia, the sandy hook principles, when you walk into -- i don't want to give anyone free fizzing -- you walk into a video store or electronic store, you buy a d.v.d. player, they immediately offer you the two-year warrant. when you walk into a gun store after the background check, which everyone should go through, they should offer you a gun lock or ask, do you have a gun locker in your house or your business where this gun is going to be stored? and that should be a part of the sale. and that's the only person who should be able to get access to that weapon. we know that the technology exists that you can in fact make guns in such a way that only the legitimate owner and
operator can operate that weapon. that would cut down tremendously on the fact that in my city and many other cities across the united states of america, you can rent guns in stash houses across the city. you walk in, they show you an array of weapons, you pick out the one you want, you put your nun down, bring it back in a week, do whatever you do, you bring it back. mostly you bring it back because they know who you are. so guns circulate. they're already there. there's not -- at least in our city -- i know in chicago, in illinois, they have very, very tough laws in pennsylvania. we don't. we have one of the weakest laws in the united states of america. so in places where you have tough laws, they may be crazy but they're not totally stupid. they go across the county line, buy whatever guns they want, bring them back and engage in activity which is why we need federal legislation covering the entire united states of america. that's what we need.
and straw purchases, the people involved in that fick business who -- and the many instances it could be a spouse, it could be girlfriend, boyfriend, whatever the case may be. person knows they can't buy weapons themselves, they go and have them buy it. they should have the hammer come down themselves. you need minimum sentences for people who walk around with unland weapons. if you look at new york and commend governor cuomo what he did yesterday, but in new york city, a very famous athlete a few years ago walking around with his own weapon unland, shot himself in the leg and did two years in prison. this is serious business. we have too many young people, too many teens with too great of access to these weapons and no one seems to care whether or not they have them or not. those are illegal guns that should not be on our streets
and we need to step up and law enforcement activity and snatch those illegal guns off the streets of america. all of this conversation -- and i had one last night with someone who clearly needs a serious background check herself, this notion that somehow after 236 years created in the city of philadelphia that somehow the government is going to do something that causes everyone to be armed, that we're marching down the street coming after guns, is a whole lot of nonsense. people who are not dealing in the reality of what i and the chief and many others face on a daily basis. we have real jobs with real challenges and real responsibilities trying to make our folks safe. we need to cut out the nonsense and have serious conversation about these issues. and i thank you. >> thank you very much, mayor. >> thank you, mr. mayor, very much. [applause] our next group of five -- and we'd ask the people try to
adhere the one-minute. committee assignments may be based on adherence to that. the first is ms. barbara lee of california. then ms. lujan grisham. mr. hank johnson. mrs. davis and mr. david scott. the witnesses, when you're responding to this group of five, if you'd like to comment on the earlier questions, please do so. >> thank you very much. first, let me thank the panel for your extraordinary testimony. also, my heart felt condolences goes to the families of your loved ones and to the entire newtown community. my constituents in my district, especially -- i'm from oakland, california -- send their thoughts and prayers also to you. in many ways, part of the community which i represent has been and continues to be a war zone. 15 of my constituents were shot just last week. chief knight, could you just please give us an idea of what
cities and police officers and mayors confront in terms of daily gun violence? >> ok. next is ms. lujan grisham. >> thank you. i, too, want to add my appreciation for the incredibly touching and courageous remarks today. i can tell you that i have renewed resolve because of your courage and dedication and compassion and recognize that this is the day to commit from this day forward that we need comprehensive federal reforms so that we're doing something meaningful about the gun violence in this country. in fact, i come from a district in new mexico where we have significant gun violence and tragedy. many of it -- the questions i would have asked have been asked today. so i have a new question which is, in the aftermath of this incredibly horrific tragedy in newtown -- and notwithstanding -- i want to make sure i recognize there have been others -- what can we do in congress today to help the healing of newtown and make sure that we have continued support for those families and
your community, dr. robinson? >> thank you. mr. hank johnson. >> thank you. my condolences to doctors robinson and nottingham and also to the representatives from the virginia shooting. my sincere condolences. we live in a culture of violence. the question is, how do we change from a culture of violence into a culture of education and a culture of peacefulness? it takes money. we in congress have that ability. preventing mass shootings by way of banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, certainly something that we should do. we need to get at the issue of violence that affects us with respect to handguns used
primarily in inner city areas to kill people. i'm not advocating for a ban on handguns. don't get me wrong. but i will say we need to address the issue of violence in our culture. and i'd like to know what kinds of resources are available to help students and to help people in the community, adults, who have emotional or mental disorders and whether or not we need to put more resources into that area. >> thank you, hank. susan davis. >> thank you very much. thank you for being here, for your amazing testimony. i want to just follow-up on the mental health question as well. because -- i don't know if you could identify and perhaps, chief knight, immediate steps that cities and schools can take to identify potentially dangerous individuals. we know that many, many people
who would benefit from mental health treatment are actually incarcerated because there's no other place for them to go. on the other hand, california, for one, has had a civil commitment standard procedure for involuntary commitments. sand i wonder whether you any that's an important thing to look at as we look at options that communities would have. >> thank you. david scott. >> yes, thank you. yes, thank you. dr. robinson, i'd like to direct this question to you. the national rifle association has said that the best way in response to what happened at your school in newtown was to arm the teachers, put armed personnel in each of the schools. i'd like to get your response. how would you respond to the n.r.a. on that? and then secondly, why you feel strongly that a large part of the answer to this is to deal
with these weapons of mass destruction, as we call them, with these high-capacity weapons, those two points, please. >> thank you, david. thank you for your patience. a wide variety of questions. we'd ask your panel to answer. remember, if you'd like to comment on something but, rosa, did you -- >> i was going to go to dr. robinson. she has to leave for an airplane. >> thank you. representative grisham, thank you for your question. it's a sensitive question. we are -- we realize now we are in the midst of this and looking back there are phases of this dealing with this trauma. if i would name this i'd call this the start of a recovery. it's still painful. mental health is a big piece. part of what i have come to realize is when you lost your whole sense of safety, you start to look for things that are concrete and give you
visible signs of safety. parents are looking to see police are out in the street. that there is a police car out there and police in the building. parents are coming in demanding that there be f.r.o.'s in all of our elementary schools, which we didn't have. you know, people seem to need that. some of my teachers are saying, you know, i need escape ladders in the room and i need to have the door chain and new locks. they're creating a list of things they think they need to have to feel safe because they've lost their personal sense of safety. congress could take a real critical look at the unique situations that happen. in these traumatic events. arizona, wherever. people go through these processies and they're in different places and there's a lot of grieving and the mental health support is very
necessary. and we do a great job of bringing in traumatic experts, counseling and so forth, and then they go away. and i think my people need support for a long time. and i don't think that when these people go away, they start talking about a transition plan -- we can't stop transition. we are not there. we need more long-term kind of support when a traumatic incident occurs. that is mental health and that is also visible signs of security so we can keep going. representative scott, your question on n.r.a. arming teachers. i come from a military family. my husband was a navy pilot. we do not keep guns. i have great respect for
guns. my dad used to teach me how to shoot. iffer great respect for them. if you remember what the chief said, it is to take the great deal of training for a police officer to shoot a weapon in action. teachers are teachers. if you think about elementary teachers, elementary teachers just love kids. they are not going to go packing and sit on the floor and read to the kids with a gun at their hip. there was some very insensitive individual who will go unnamed that immediately after this -- and i did not watch tv after this -- made some claim that if dawn had a weapon in her desk, she could have taken action. she was not at her desk and no good principal is. what about the athlete that shot himself in the foot? how many little kids can get injured with inexperienced elementary school teachers walking around with guns? it is not even logical.
now, my people tell me they need to see right now. i couldn't know if it's long term. they need to see armed policemen. i think it is that loss of security that is important. at least temporarily we will be able to accommodate that. your third party question had to do with high capacity. he shot every one of these little 6-year-olds three to 11 times. that wasn't necessary. and we could -- had he had a single shot or -- i know nothing -- a gun -- and all those -- that ammunition, maybe dawn and the people come out could have stopped him. you know, they were determined. they didn't have a chance with a semiautomatic weapon. and little 6-year-old bodies not having a chance. so that's the depth of my
feeling. did i miss anyone? >> miss nottingham, did you have a comment? and then we'll go to the chief. >> i just want to echo the idea that, a, people need support after mass shootings or after major tragedy for a long time. there -- it is not a -- there is not a quick recovery, and that should be understood and recognized. secondly, to address just one aspect of the idea of moving to a culture of education rather than a culture of violence, one of the things that we've been working on in tucson through the funds for civility, respect and understanding, is anti-bullying programs in schools. because where we learn about violence, we model violence, children learn very young. if we're going to address this through an educational aspect, then we should look at additional support for
anti-bullying activities in our schools. >> from my world view, some of these overlap, so i'm not necessarily going to be surgical. i will answer, i think, most of these questions. firstly -- and they asked about funding. please do. here's a way we use it, and we talk specifically about school resource officers. in my city, city of 25,000, the lion's share of the public schools with our district are in my city, and i have private schools free. because of funding and what it is in today's world and the economy and education, we know how they're strapped. i have four s.r.o.'s at one time. i now have one. that's not a desired situation by the school or by my department. yes to the funding piece.
to the mental health piece, the s.r.o.'s, they know the kids. they know when they don't look right. what's going on today? they have friendships and they talk. someone else will say, have you seen his facebook page, or i am being taken down, bullied on facebook and all the things that lead us to mental health issues. and in regard to mental health issues, today, the officer on the street gets called because someone is having an episode of some nature and maybe a family member calls or maybe a co-worker calls or maybe they're just out and about having some sort of episode. the officer comes, evalue waits and determines, something is going on. this person needs to be seen. they've committed no crime a lot of the time, but you can't believe. so they in minnesota and i think this is similar throughout our country execute what's called the 72-hour hold. a lot of people say, good.
the situation is resolved for 72 hours. this individual will receive some sort of care and diagnosis that will determine what is the next step but that is not true. the 72-hour hold only gives the authority to say whether you want to or not you are going to have to come with me or this paramedic crew and you're going to this hospital. upon arrival, often, because it's not acute or the history is not known, a host of legitimate reasons, the e.r. physician or whomever is seeing that person, releases them right then and they're -- out they go. yes, that's a problem. and you're right. my peers will tell you jails have become de facto institutions because a lot of these people then immediately -- some crime happens. if they're out something will. so now they're in jail. do we think they're getting treated there? we know they're not. i hope that goes to your question.
the question about -- >> chief, can i just interrupt you for one second? i know that dr. robinson is going to catch an airplane. again, we want to say thank you to you. our hearts, our thoughts, our prayers are with you and the newtown community, and we will do what we need to do. thank you, dr. robinson. [applause] sorry, chief. >> no, i am sorry. to the question about someone legally owns a weapon and then another person gets their hands on it, a family member or whatever the situation, yes, that happens. we know it happens. there should be, along with reporting lost or stolen weapons, there should be legislation, i think, that requires the safe storage and the separation of weapons and ammunition. so they are not available to
anyone who might come upon them. just so you know, the footnote, it wasn't that long ago that smith and wesson was giving gun locks out with their weapons. and they were villeified, villeified by the industry. guess what they stopped doing? it was a business decision. folks, it was a prudent business decision to stop it. now, where's the sanity in that? it doesn't exist. of course it doesn't. you know, in regard to the daily violence that we see, we see it and unfortunately in my city very few murders, but we have a lot of suicide. we have a lot of accidents. in fact, in the past 12 months, we've had four people who have gone through the permitting process shoot themselves and they're accidents.
two of them were demonstrating that the weapon was unloaded. and so we're dealing with gun violence all the time. again, which doesn't make the news, is my officers are taking guns off of people all the time because nothing happened, thank god, it's not a news worthy item. here's a little bit of scott nicte's history, and my peers will tell you this across the country. i started in 1976. at that time the officer had a reinvolver. in the car, if needed, was a shotgun. typically a 12 gauge. and that was the weapon to go to if it really got heavy. well, today, over time we went from that shotgun because, folks, it wasn't adequate. it was no longer adequate to the threats the officer was facing on the streets and we moved to an mp-5 .09 carbine
rifle. we're leveling the field a little bit. we're not getting ahead. we're leveling the field a little bit. today my officers have ar-15's in their cars. now, do you think i'm doing this because i want to? do you think i got a lot of money? do you think it's sporting? i'm doing it because i am forced to to provide my officers the tools they need to keep you, my family, my community and themselves safe. it's not simply because it's a new sexy weapon that they need to acquire? i hope that goes to your question. i hope i touched on all the questions. >> thank you. actually, this is the last traunch of questions here and sheila jackson lee from texas, and nita lowey from new york. there you are. sorry, gwen, i didn't see you.
congresswoman gwen moore and veesy. -- veasey. he may have left. so ms. jackson lee, mrs. lowey and ms. moore. one minute. >> let me acknowledge to dr. nottingham our deepest sympathy but respect for such a young man and such a hero, to your son. ternl to the tragedy that we've witnessed in newtown and elsewhere, to the chief. i also want to acknowledge two people in the room who experienced gun violence, parents who lost their son, -- to gun violence. [applause] i come from texas and i will hold this up. "at top of gun world." i want everyone to know what you just said and what many
have said, we are not after people's guns. the store's name is houston armry, and the headline says they're strictly controlled by the united states government. not only that, someone said, suppose someone breaks and takes their guns, and they said because they're in a vault, tell me be about being outgunned as a police officer and the importance of storing and securing guns. you mentioned it earlier, but storing and securing guns in people's homes which i this is enormously crucial. >> mrs. lowey. >> thank you very much. i fickly want to thank dr. nottingham as a mother and a grandmother. i can't imagine sitting next to my friend, ron barber, the pain you feel. i don't have any questions. i just want to ask for your help and all those who are listening today. we all have been listening to the recent polls.
88% of american people support closing the gun show loophole. 76% support universal background checks. 65% support banning high-capacity magazines, etc., etc., etc. we've heard your wisdom today, and i just hope we can work together to use the american people to get legislation passed through both the senate and the house. new york passed tough legislation just this week. we can do it with your help and i thank you for appearing here today. thank you. >> thank you so much. and ms. moore. >> thank you so much. i join so many others in awe of you who have turned your pain into some actionable plans for curtailing this violence. i just don't know if i could do it. and so i really appreciate your appearing to help us sort
through these things. i think part of what makes all of us feel so helpless is because who -- you know, how do you prepare when your sleepy little town like newtown, connecticut, anticipating that someone will come in and shoot 26 people? you just -- you just don't necessarily prepare for that as you might think of some big city where that might happen. but there are -- i'm talking about domestic violence now. we know every single day there's going to be some woman who is going to be killed because there are restraining orders that are put out there, and a woman whose spouse has a firearm is five times more likely to be killed. now, we have federal laws prohibiting misdemeanor or felony, folks with felonies
from having a firearm, but what do you think? i have a bill. what do you think, chief, of maybe a grant program we could give to the states to, number one, sort of align their domestic violence laws and identifying who these people are with federal law and to give them grants so that as soon as that restraining order is put down, number one, they seize the firearms right from them today, you know, no need to go to a psychiatrist, nothing. if you got a restraining order, we get your firearms that day. and until a judge lifts that order at some point. and that it would be put into the ncis immediately so that you can't get the gun. thank you. >> thank you very much. mr. barber, one minute, comment, question.
>> thank you. can you hear me? there we go. i have a question with regard to mental health services and people with mental health needs. before i want to correct something i've been saying for a few days that is now incorrect. i was saying that those of us who were shot on january 8 were shot in 45 seconds. i learned yesterday from the u.s. attorney that 33 bullets were discharged in 19 seconds. i think it just emphasizes all the more need to do something about high-capacity magazines. my question to you about mental health. we have a bill in play that hopefully will go to first responders and educators, police chief and emily, if you will, what more can we do to provide good information, practical information to those who might come into contact with folks with mental illness so we can help get them the treatment they need and perhaps prevent these kinds of
tragedies? >> thank you, mr. barber. >> the question about gun storage and particularly in the home venue, i think one of the issues -- this is a personal opinion, but tested in the field, if you will, our country has a solid hunting and sporting tradition, but it was waning and we have a lot of people now with guns that didn't grow up in such traditions and culture and frankly they don't hunt. with that comes the lack of respect for a weapon, first of all. secondly, this -- this idea -- and we see it all the time of guns unsecured, loaded in a home under a pillow, in a night stand, on top of the refrigerator, wherever it is, that anyone can come along, especially a child, and pick up . frankly we need legislation that makes it a crime.
we could say after the fact -- through via social services, unsafe environment, is that really getting at the particular issue? i don't think it does. and sometimes they to be a little creative to do it. in regard to domestic violence, absolutely. and here's what we could do with that. first of all -- forgive me for saying the obvious, but nics, you know, is a wonderful thing. i'm sorry. ncic. well, they're both wonderful things. anything with a serial number goes in there, too, like a toaster, if you have one. it's not necessarily a go-to database to get where we want to get. i think you are right on. they should go in the ncis system. what we need is funding for crisis teams because a lot of times, even on guns, and often is the case, are not involved but someone needs some help,
and an officer rolls up at 3:00 in the morning and they are very limited in the resources that are available to them. if there is funding for properly trained crisis intervention people, there we go. now we got something. now it is the mental health e.r., if you will and the officer doesn't have to try and be creative or drive away, god forbid, because there's nothing they can do. and i'm sorry. was there another question that i'm -- >> while he's thinking, i just want to add one thing. and i am not an expert in mental health. but i do just want to say that in any compre hencively package, including appropriate funding for increased access to mental health services and increased mental health services is absolutely crucial.
we don't want to have to solve our problems by tackling a shooter after they've run out of bullets in a high-capacity magazine. what we want to do is stop them from ever feeling the need to pick up that gun. so if we can include mental health in a comprehensive package i think is absolutely crucial. >> let me say thank you and i want to ask you if you have some closing remarks you want to make. startling statistic, ms. nottingham, i just found out is that 67% of adults, 80% of our children who have mental health issues are not being treated for those issues. i have to look over and over again because i thought the numbers were so staggering that no one would believe me. we got the citation on it as well. let me just ask you if you have any closing remarks before i turn it over to the leader. >> thank you for listening to
us and stay the course. >> i would like to say this -- thank you. you know, i have over the years met with a lot of you and i know where your hearts are. i know where your hearts are and i thank you. thank you. what a great day this was leaving the white house and coming to this and thank you. i would say this. there are those who say that the gun lobby has caused great fear among your colleagues, and maybe they would rather do something, but because of this fear, they all go with the gun lobby. . i would like to just suggest this. for that individual, not you folks, but for that individual who's struggling with that fear, that's not fear. that's inconvenience, that's maybe a little heartburn. fear, fear is what went through the hearts and mind of those 20 first graders in connecticut. that's fear, ladies and gentlemen. and the suggestion that people should be afraid of the gun
lobby, when in fact you know america's behind you on the gun background checks and all these other issues, how is that fair? it is just becoming educated. [applause] >> madam leader. >> thank you very much. i thank you, congresswoman delauro, and congressman rob andrews, the co-chairs of the steering and policy committee. i thank all of our colleagues. this is the biggest show of members that we have had for any hearing by far. and i might add there's an overflow of room of folks who have been listening to the proceedings. most of all i thank our witnesses for sharing their stories, their experience. you honor us with your generosity of spirit and time to be with us because i know you have big demands, especially at this time, for your opinions. i did want, as i mentioned
earlier, a call to action. gun violence prevention, a call to action. so i'm going to yield my time to the gentleman from california, mr. thompson, because he has the responsibility to lead us into action legislatively here. once again, chief knight, dr. nottingham, thank you so much for honoring us with your presence. [applause] >> thank you, madam leader. and chairs for holding today's hearing. and thank you for allowing me to help construct sensible gun laws that will help to prevent gun violence. nothing said today is earth shattering. nothing said today is going to take anybody's guns. nothing today is going to threaten any hunters or any gun collectors. people came forward today and called for background checks and i don't know how anyone
could be against that. everybody wants to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. if you don't have background checks, you can't do it. the whole idea of assault magazines, people coming with 30 shells in their magazines, 20, even 15 shells in their magazine, as i've already said, i'm a hunter. the federal law, the federal law restricts the number of shells i can put in my shotgun when i go duck hunting. no law restricts the number of shells somebody can put in an assault magazine to go out and do whatever types of misdeeds that they want to do. enforcing the existing laws, that's what they say is a no-brainer. enhance school security, fixing the holes in our mental health system, all important things, all things that we have to do. and the leader's right, it is a call to action. and it's time to act. it's time that responsible gun owners stand hand in hand with
a passionate and compassionate congress to make sure that we make our streets safe and it's something we can do and the time to act is now so thank you all very, very much. [applause] >> i think it's important to note to our witnesses that, for the course of the hearing as you know, scores of members were here but our distinguished majority democratic whip has been with us the entire time as has our distinguished ranking member of the judiciary committee. so we're very honored by your presence and a tribute. >> if i can say, i wasn't asked whether i had any questions but i was going to answer, i have no questions. but i have unbelievable respect and admiration for your courage and insights. thank you very much. >> thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> we expect to hear more about reducing gun violence coming up at about 12:0. vice president joe biden who headed the president's task force and reported back to the president will be speaking at the u.s. conference of mayors gagget, in washington. the event happening one day after the white house announcing their detailed plan on reducing gun violence. the mayors meeting in washington, philadelphia mayor michael nut who are can currently serves as president of the conference will introduce vice president biden. that's set for 1:30 eastern. we'll have it -- 12:30 live
eastern. we'll have it live. our inaugural weekend coverage will start tomorrow night. looking back at inaugurations from the past, beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern with ronald reagan's 1981 inauguration. bill clinton and his first from 1993. dwight eisenhower after that, 1957. at 9:00 p.m. harry truman's 1949 inauguration. richard nixon from 1969. ronald reagan, also john f. kennedy after that from 1961, obviously. george h.w. bush in his 1989 inauguration. linden johnson follows that. jimmy carter from 1977. we finish up with george w. bush from 1991. all of that getting under way tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. eastern. >> we'll start sunday at 10:30 a.m. eastern with your calls
and more and a look back at the president's 2009 inaugural dress. and then on monday the public inaugural ceremonies. our coverage starts at 7:00 a.m. the swearing-in is at noon. we'll cover that. the luncheon, the parade and more. and throughout the day of course you can continue to join us by phone, facebook and twitter. we're using the #inaug2013. while we wait for vice president joe biden we will go back to the issue of reducing gun violence in a round table discussion from this morning's "washington journal." host: this morning we've been talking with gun owners and getting their views on what the president had to say. what do you think of the proposals that the president made yesterday? guest: i think they're very encouraging. they're historic, really.
and i think they can make great strides in reducing gun violence in america and they also are completely compatible with the second amendment so i think that law-abiding gun owners should be happy with them. these are restrictions that will keep guns out of the hands of the bad guys while allowing law-abiding citizens to get their guns and it will reduce crime. host: how will these proposals keep guns out of the hands of bad guys? in your view. what specifically will do that? guest: to begin, universal background checks. current law only requires that background checks be performed by licensed gun dealers. at least 40% of gun sales take place by private sellers without any background check, no questions asked. and that's a gaping hole that enables felons, dangerously mentally ill, domestic violence abusers to get guns very easily. it does not prevent law-abiding citizens from getting guns, just prevents people who we
already recognize should not have guns from getting them. host: a what about the emphasis on mental health that the president proposed? guest: i think that's important and i think what the president did was basically said we need to look at this problem. he directed the attorney general to look at that time more closely and to provide better mental health services. as he said, it should not be easier to get a gun than to get adequate mental health treatment. so that's certainly part of it. we want a comprehensive solution. most americans, most gun owners believe in a comprehensive solution to this problem and these are all sensible steps along the way. guest: we've had some gun owners call in this morning saying that the limit on magazine size will not be effective. host: that closing the loophole is a bureaucratic nightmare.
would you outlaw gun sales at the brady center? is that where you all are headed? guest: absolutely not. that's never been our view. we think there are sensible things we can do which respect the second amendment, which allow law-abiding citizens to get guns. yet prevent gun violence. we should have an honest discussion about the risks of guns in the home so people can make an informed decision about whether to bring a gun into their home, but they certainly have that right and the second amendment has been construed by the supreme court to protect that right. host: should there be a limit on the number of guns that people or the types of guns that people can own? guest: certainly types. military-style assault weapons, for example, have no place in civilian hands. law enforcement will be the first ones to tell you that. that does not affect hunting rifles, sort of conventional handguns that people choose to have for self-defense. yet it prevents these mass
killers from mowing down many people in a short amount of time. i mean, i've heard it said in recent days that the assault weapons are merely cosmetic features. that's not true at all. they are actually functional aspects of the gun which are only useful to engage in mass assaults on people. to basically spray fire randomly and kill a large number of people in a very short amount of time. host: do the states -- what role in your view should the states play? we just -- our last caller in that first hour said, he doesn't mind registering with texas but he doesn't think the federal government has haas any business knowing what kind of gun he has, etc. guest: well, the federal government has a major role because the fact is that guns are so easy to transport from one state to another that even if you have one state like california, for example, or new
york that has a strong, sensible gun laws, it's farrell easy for people to get guns in states that have weak gun laws and traffic them onto the streets of new york or los angeles or chicago. and that's what we've seen. so we really need strong federal measures. and most gun owners support this. 74% of n.r.a. members support universal background checks. host: have you -- do you talk regularly with the n.r.a.? do you deal where them regularly at all? do you have a dialogue? guest: we are open to have a dialogue with anyone in candor. the n.r.a. is less open in having a dialogue with us and you saw that they for quite some time refused to meet with the president. eventually met with the task force. but there are members of the n.r.a. which i think is more important, the members of the
n.r.a. are reaching us out to and we're reaching out to them and those people are law-abiding, responsible gun owners who want the same things that we want and that families across america want. which are safe communities, safe schools. so that's important. because the n.r.a. really does not speak for gun owners. the n.r.a. doesn't even speak for its own members. they are speaking for an industry. host: do you have an opinion at the brady center on armed school guards increasing the number of armed school guards? guest: that's really a distraction. when you've heard it proposed, it's proposed as a way to avoid the dialogue about whether we should have background checks for all gun sales. whether civilians should be able to buy ak-47's or 30-round, 50-round ammunition magazines which are used in mass shootings. so that's where the conversation should be focused
on, that's where the president directed it and that's where the american people are on this issue. host: todd in new buffalo, michigan, on our independent line. you are first up. with john lowy of the brady center. please go ahead. todd? i am not hearing anything. are you hearing anything? all right. we're going to move on to jimmy from in parisburg, virginia, on our democrats line. jimmy, good morning. caller: good morning, how are you, c-span? host: good. caller: i just got a comment. i've been thinking about this thing. i watched the president. he's got an excellent idea. and i think that the n.r.a. should have a federal marshall or several of them to go around these gun ranges and have the people that own the gun ranges have these weapons behind lock and key and if they want to go
and rent one to shoot for that day, they can do that and i believe if they got them behind lock and key it will be a great thing and that's not taking the rights away from nobody. they got the right to go in there and shoot it. not unless they got it in a mind they got in mind they want to shoot a bunch of folks but i don't think they will if they go to the firing range and just have the n.r.a. have them locked behind the lock and key and people want to use them, if they got the money to use it, you go ahead and use it. that's what i think. host: well -- guest: well, i think it's interesting. if you ask people who own assault weapons why they have these weapons, they will tell you the major reason is what's called plinking which is basically just shooting stuff. shooting targets, shooting cans, what have you. and i really believe that most
gun owners, even who own assault weapons, are willing to give up their hobby of plinking. maybe plink with a different gun, if it will save the lives of those, for example, children, like the 20 that were killed in newtown. host: a tweet here -- guest: well, we'll never know. but certainly the ban on high-capacity magazines could well have stopped it. i mean, that was -- and the assault weapon ban. without that fire power, the shooter could not have committed the havoc that he did and also may not have even initiated it. what we've seen in many of these mass shootings is people don't start them unless they are armed to the teeth with these military-style weaponry. host: does the brady center have an opinion on concealed carry? i'm thinking of aurora,
colorado, movie theater, if somebody had had a gun in that theater? >> well, we think -- guest: there should be sensible restrictions on concealed carry. law enforcement has a role. and in california, new york have sensiblely as where law enforcement can make a determination of whether someone is too dangerous to carry a concealed weapon. as opposed to florida where you have someone like george zimmerman who killed trayvon martin. someone who had a dangerous record. yet under florida law, law enforcement had to issue him a concealed carry permit. but i think we have to be careful in looking at concealed carry holders as a panacea. because tucson, i think, is the best example. the shooting that killed a handful and almost killed gabrielle giffords. there was a man who was carrying concealed weapons at tucson and he almost shot one of the heroes who stopped the
shooter. fortunately he didn't. but it shows that that isn't what stopped the shooter. host: how did you get involved in this issue? guest: i've always had a passion for a number of social issues and gun violence in particular is just such a vast social public health problem in this country. 100,000 people are shot every year in this country. and each one of those victims bears a number of other victims, family member, friends, who are affected as well. so you have millions, and millions every year. and yet until recent days, it's not really given the attention that it should be. so i think -- i'm very, very encouraged. i've been at the brady center for 15 years and i've never been more encouraged than the past few weeks where this country has this really dedicated appetite, demand for
some sensible solutions. host: jon lowy is a graduate of harvard and the university of virginia school of law and glen is our next caller from tampa, florida, republican line. glen, good morning, you're on the "washington journal." caller: good morning, c-span. i'd like to ask, isn't the universal background check basically to put law enforcement on private citizens? host: what do you mean by that? caller: well, if i do a background check here in my living room to sell somebody a gun, that's like me having to enforce the law. guest: actually, it would just apply the same ruleses that govern your sales if you go to gun stores now. for private sales. and this has been the law for a few years in california and it works very well. what simply happens is that if you want to sell a gun or buy a gun in a private transaction,
you can arrange the transaction and the prites and then you'll go to your local gun store and perform the background check. so it does not put you in a position of law enforcement. it gets you into a gun store, if you're a gun enthusiast, that's probably not much trouble, and it's well worth it. if it prevents some dangerous people, felons, domestic violence abusers, dangerously and mentally ill people from getting guns, which it will do, and that's what it's done in california and that's what the brady laws -- and the brady law, by requiring background checks at license sellers has stopped over two million dangerous people from buying guns. and it will be much more effective if it's expanded to all gun sales. host: mike in rocky mountain, north carolina. independent line. caller: good morning. how are you all this morning?
host: good. caller: i listened to obama yesterday. some of the things he said were sensible. i can understand the medical part of the background check. that is something that is truly needed. as far as some of the other things he said, i disagree with a lot because i'm an up and coming gun smith. i'm going through the process, just finished my schooling. i'm getting ready to go through the a.t.f. stuff now. and, you know, a lot of the laws that i'm reading that are governed under the a.t.f., a lot of this stuff is covered. but instead of the president using his time and everything to try and fight taking guns away from people who have them, that time and money should be spent in fighting the black market and the people who buy them illegally instead of
spending time to do the other. but i mean, it's just, that's my feeling. guest: well, first of all, mike, the president did propose more serious penalties for gun trafficking which is exactly the problem that you've pointed to which i agree is very important. but requiring universal background checks is not going to take guns away from anyone. it will simply stop people like felons, the dangerously mentally ill from buying guns. so if you look at the polls, again, 74% of n.r.a. members support that, about 95% of the general population supports universal background checks. so that's something that will fully respect your second amendment rights yet it will reduce crime.
host: "wall street journal" lead editorial this morning. they write -- that the conceptual problem begins with the definition of assault weapons. mr. obama certainly didn't define it. the ban that was imposed in 1994 -- guest: that's just not accurate. first of all, the features of an assault weapon are not cosmetic. they're functional. i mean, for example, under the bill that i think will be introduced in congress, if you have, for example, a semi-automatic rifle that can take a detachble magazine, and that can be a high-capacity 30, 50-round magazine, and has a pistol grip, that is an assault rifle. that's not cosmetic. the significance of the pistol grip is that it's used to fire
from the hip. literally shooting from the hip. where you are not eyeing your target. that is meant to spray fire, to hit a lot of people very quickly. and while these are semi-automatic weapons, not automatic weapons, they can fire actually almost as quickly. you can empty a 30-round magazine in about five seconds using a semi-automatic assault rifle. and additionally, the federal bill that lapsed in 2004 did prevent crime and prevented the use of assault weapons in crime. there was a 66% drop in the use of assault weapons in crime after the assault weapons ban was enacted. and after it lapsed, we saw a spike in high-capacity magazines used in crime, in the sort that is used in these mass shootings. it is effective. it can be more effective if it
lasts more time, where you have the grandfathered stock of guns sort of leaving circulation. host: minneapolis, democrat, good morning. caller: good morning. host: we're listening. caller: hello. i don't own a gun. i have a right to own a gun. i'm in school for criminal justice. so i will be ariel sharon able to carry a gun. but -- so i will be able to carry a gun. but thigh my thing is that the guns that are killing people are illegally obtained. it's not the people that have the right to carry the guns. but the thing is that's what we have to stop. but until people stop obtaining guns illegally, what do we expect? because the people that have the guns, that the right to, they want to -- they're upset because they want to the law to do better background checks. that's fine because the shooting that just happened with the school, because it was his mother's gun.
so, he got his mother's gun and then the man earlier said that, well, what's wrong with selling my neighbor a gun because his daughter is going to college? well, what about the background check on the person that's going to college? or the guy in colorado. he was in college. he thought he was fine. it's not that they're not passing it. it's mental health and if there's people obtaining guns from people that have license to carry, we have to do something about that. and you can't be mad that the government's trying to step in because we as a people haven't been doing our job to keep our guns safe that we are purchasing legally from the people that are getting the guns illegally. host: all right. thank you. guest: you discussed a lot of very important points. let me try to just address one of them. which is about gun owner
responsibility. and that was one of the executive orders that the president proposed yesterday. which was a campaign to promote responsibility and safety among gun owners. and we at the brady center think that's very important. one of the initiatives that we're actively involved in is public education campaigns to change social norms, to educate people about the risks of guns, to educate clinicians about what they should know about the danger of their patients with guns. and to also educate the public about what they can do to prevent gun crimes before they happen. to alert authorities. and so there are a lot of sensible proposals that we can do to get at all aspects of this complex problem. we need comprehensive solutions. there's a lot of aspects to it. host: mr. lowy, this tweet has come in.
host: is there a definition for that? guest: i think what he probably means is a gun show. sale. which is -- i'm not dodging it, but it's actually not going to be relevant for the current debate. because we sort of have gone past that. a number of years back people talked about closing the gun show loophole which was to require background checks at gun shows. but the problem with that is that it's still left open, internet sales, and sales out in the parking lot of gun shows which if you close the gun show loophole you can still do those sorts of sales without background checks. we don't need to bother with the definition for gun show because it won't have legal significance, if we can require background checks for all gun
sales, that will close the gun show loophole. it will close the internet loophole, the classified ad loophole and it will have all gun sales under one playing field. i mean, let me give you just one analogy. i mean, our gun sale system today is similar to if we sold controlled substances where you would say, the law requires you to get a prescription from a doctor and then go to a pharmacy to buy drugs. except when you don't want to do that. in which case you can go to some guy on the street and buy all the drugs you want without a prescription, no questions asked. that's legal too. that would be crazy. that is the law today regarding gun sales. that's what the president and most americans want to stop. host: gary tweets in -- host: the part of that i was looking for to you address i guess is the constitutional part. the president brought it up
yesterday. the gun owners and rights folks bring it up as well. where do you -- where does the constitution in your view come down on this issue? guest: well, the second amendment has been claarified very recently by the supreme court in a couple of decisions. in 2008 in the heller decision where the court struck down washington, d.c.'s gun ban and then in 2008 where it dealt with chicago's gun ban. and in those cases the court held that there is a second amendment right of law-abiding citizens to have a gun. at the same time, however, reasonable gun laws are constitutional. the court was very clear about that. justice scalia, no great liberal and in fact a hunter and gun owner himself, listed a number of laws as examples which are stuelingsal -- which are constitutional. there's no question that background checks, assault weapons ban, all the proposals the president's mentioned are
clearly constitutional. host: jon lowy is the legal action project senlter with the brady center here in washington, d.c. and dawn is a republican in canton, georgia. please go ahead. caller: yeah. i'd like to give you a little bit of my background. i grew up in a society where -- a rural community. and it was not uncommon for us when going through ag school and associated f.f.a. that we brought our guns actually on the school buses to go trap shooting and skeet shooting. and i'm 50 years old. but society has changed a lot. i went into the service, served my country well. i ran one of the largest arms rooms in fort bragg. was very conscious. i own my federal arm fire license, my manufacturing license. i'm also the father of five children. i've also owned ar-15's,
multiple hunting guns. i've never owned a pistol. it's been my belief that pistols were only created for a single purpose -- to kill people. the thing that i see lacking is, number one, responsible training in gun ownership. number two, i have a mentally ill son. that i took care of for a number of years and have learned quite a bit about the mental health profession. it was my responsibility as a gun owner to ensure the safety of my firearms having a mentally ill child within my home. and if we look at the specifics of all these situations that have occurred in recent times with these mass shootings, and the adage goes, guns do not kill people, people kill people.
you have to get to the crux of the core of what actually transpired in newtown. you have a mother that was acquiring assault rifles, semi-automatic pistols and other firearms with a mentally ill child within their home. it was her responsibility, no matter what situation, to ensure that those firearms were secured. even admitting that she did not trust her son to be alone with other individuals. and what happens in these situations, it's not the gun that was the actual problem. it was a failure in our society to recognize mental health issues and the stigma that if you're mentally ill you are almost bullied to the point where if you're mentally ill you don't want to go get help because society looks down on these people. host: i think we've got a lot on the table.
let's get a response from mr. lowy. guest: first of all, thank you for your service to our country. and it certainly sounds like you are one of the responsible gun owners. and i should say that that's most gun owners. most gun owners are responsible and take the danger of firearms very seriously and treat them carefully. unfortunately when you have a few who are not so careful, it can lead to great tragedies, as you note, at newtown. and so that's why part of the solution, the comprehensive solution to this problem, has to be public education which the president noted and as i said we are very involved in. and however we do have to recognize that, guns may not kill people but people with guns kill people. and the fact that it is so easy for dangerous people to get guns leads to quite a bit of
the deaths that we see in this country. most of the 100,000 who are shot in america are not shot in these mass shootings. like newtown, that make the headlines. and in many of those cases measures like universal background checks will prevent quite a number of those shootings. host: robert, parkersburg, west virginia. independent line. good morning. caller: yeah. i just want to say a couple things there. number one, i am a gun owner. very responsible with the guns that i do have. and i do have an a.r. and i use it for hunting purposes. not just planking. and -- host: very quickly, what would you hunt with an a.r.? caller: i've got an ar-10 which
is a 308 caliber and i do hunt dear with it. host: when you say an ar-10, how large are the magazines that you use? caller: i've got a 20-round clip with mine but it wouldn't bother me to back it back to a 10-round clip. they're trying to take that weapon from me. host: and are you opposed to that? caller: i don't agree with taking the a.r. i don't think that's going to cure your problem. with this. the mass shootings. the other thing i wanted to touch on was, as far as the number of deaths from gun violence, how many of them are created from an a.r.? compared to pistols and assault guns? host: mr. lowy, comments for that viewer. guest: well, first of all,
robert, i mean, these guns like ar-15's do enable many of these mass killings. that isn't to suggest that everyone who has one of these guns is irresponsible. you certainly sound like someone who is very responsible. there's no question that at newtown, columbine, at the aurora, colorado, movie theater sheeting, high-capacity magazines often paired with assault weapons enabled many, many people to be shot in a short amount of time. and so i think most gun owners would agree that even if they're responsible, even if they are not the problem, they can do without those guns. shift to any number of rifles, shotguns, handguns which you
could hunt with and just to prevent this sort of problem in the mass shootings. host: virginia texan tweets in -- guest: well, requiring background checks would simply make sure that the person who is buying the gun is not a convicted felon. dangerously mentally ill or a domestic violence abuser. so that really seems like a small price to pay for society, to get government involved. and, again, 74% of n.r.a. members agree that universal background checks is the sensible solution that should be the law in america. host: bobby, alabama, democrats line. bobby, you're on the "washington journal" with jon lowy of the brady center. caller: good morning.
i'd like to -- i asked the guy if tony two's rifles that look like assault rifles, that they have a high-capacity magazines like 25 rounds, capacity rounds, i have five grandchildren and we go out and we do plink. we have targets that are specifically, you know, class plinking targets. you get five grand kids and one grandpa out there trying to load the shells for five grandchildren, you know, it kind of gets wearing on an old man. are they going to try to ban those too? my oldest granddaughter killed her first dear ever with a 1022. they will kill a dear. and there's a few other things i'd like to say.
i don't really think that the average guy like me that works -- still works, as old as i am, can afford the prices that they're raising on these guns now after this scare that the president's put in to everybody. i mean, that's all you hear at work everywhere. i guess it's everywhere in the united states at this time. i'd just like to know, is this a employ to raise the guns up? could you do that and keep me from buying one without making a law. i couldn't buy a $3,000 a.r. but i have one, but my children and grandchildren at a very young age, just like my grandfather and my uncle, it was a policeman all his life, i went to vietnam, and as a security policeman, you're talking about teaching you how to shoot a gun and showing you
what a gun will do and the dangers of, you know, mishandling a weapon, i mean, it's frightening. as a child it was frightening to me and that's why i used it on my children. i showed them what a gun would do to a full bottle of a gallon of water. of course i had their ear muffs on. do i all that right stuff. little earmuffs. they all taught that i had to wear. that you're going to shoot my guns, you're going to wear ear plugs and you're not going to touch these guns unless i'm here. my guns are locked up, 24/7. i had an incident where one of my brothers got in a fight and he come while i was at work wanting one of my guns to go back to this guy's house and my wife said definitely not and i can't open his safe anyway. and i agree with what the man said, the host said earlier on
the earlier show, about hunters in the u.s. 700-something million guns and if you take all of the guns away, i'm not saying you try and take all our guns away, but i seen something on a website, blogger website, what country would -- with two million soldiers would want to come into this country knowing that we got hunts that are got 700 million weapons at their disposal? wouldn't be that -- wouldn't that be a deterrent? host: thank you for calling in. guest: well, nobody's talking about taking your guns away. i mean, what we're talking about are proposals like requiring background checks for all gun sales. or preventing the sales of assault rifles. high-capacity magazines moving forward. so nobody's taking you or your grandkids' guns away.
and as far as the guns that you use, if you're hunting, i mean, maybe there's confusion about the terms here. if you're hunting my guess is you are not using pistol griff and your grandkids aren't using the pistol griff -- pistol grip. you're eyeing your target and i think the offensive features that define an assault weapon would not be used -- useful for hunting and you may not even have a them in guns we're talking about in which case they may not be covered by the ban and if you do have them, i think could you get a very similar gun without these features that are not useful for hunting and you and your grandkids can do your pastime of hunting. host: this is from the "wall street journal." many similar articles this morning in the papers. host: i'm sure you've seen what harry reid has said.
guest: i think they're wrong. i think, you know, we've never seen the sort of enthusiasm on capitol hill. i was in capitol hill all day yesterday. and i think it reflects public demand for some sensible solutions. and particularly after sandy hook. it's going to be extremely difficult for a politician in any district to stand up to their constituents and explain why they fought for the right of felons. and dangerously mentally ill, to be able to buy a gun, no questions asked. they fought for the right of ak-47's. and ar-15's and 30-50-round ammunition round magazines to be on streets of our communities. that is a losing proposition for any politician because the vast majority of americans reject those ideas. and they know we can have sensible solutions that prevent gun violence while respect the
second amendment. so the tide has changed. we have gone beyond a tipping point and there's just tremendous momentum and i think that will carry the day here. host: what percentage of american families, american households have firearms? guest: it's been declining for some time. and the numbers that i've seen have been a minority within the 30's and 40's, these are based on polling data surveys, we don't have precise information. but there's a significant amount but it is a minority of the population. host: in the brady center's viewpoint, which states are doing the best when it comes to your point of view? guest: well, california has been probably the best and new
york, as of a few days ago with governor quomeow's package of very important measures, has moved up to or on par with california. i don't know who would be first. what they do in those states is they require background checks for all gun sales. they have sensible restrictions on the sort of fire power that civilians can have. they have sensible restrictions on who can carry concealed guns in public. law enforcement is involved and that can be different depending on the jurisdiction. if it's in the city, there may well be fewer people who can carry. rural area, you're going to have more. and there are a number of other things that prevent gun trafficking as well. host: roger, texas, republican line. jon lowy of the brady center is our guest. caller: good morning. obama's got an agenda.
it's obvious. he'll ask catholics who undergo abortions and birth control, he has already attacked the first amendment right and you're telling me that he doesn't intend to take anybody's firearms? when in four years you're going to see the fall of the obama nation. and that's what it is. an obama nation. i've never seen a more arrogant president than the one we have now. host: and we will take this. did you want to respond? guest: briefly, i mean, i think that it's important to know that, first of all, president has been clear about what he wants to do and it does not involve confiscation. it involves the sensible forms that he outlined yesterday. but also we have a supreme
court in this country and the supreme court held that there is a second amendment right of law-abiding citizens to have a gun in the open for self-defense and that whatever your fears are about what congress could do, what any president, this or any other president could do, that second amendment governs and so that should put your fears at rest. host: this is a magazine that came up with a series of recent ads for guns and her was one for a bush master. consider your man card reissued. in the brady center's viewpoint, should there be restrictions on ads for firearms? guest: well, i think they should be accurate. like any ad. i'm not sure if it's inaccurate. it may be over the top. but some ads that we think are
problematic are ones that talk about guns being your responsibility as a parent and promising that it will provide more security for your home, without informing people of the great risks of bringing a gun into your home. it's because people should have an informed decision. they request make a decision to bring a gun into their home but they should be well aware of the risks as they are with any other product. basically guns should be treated like other consumer products. that pose a risk. that may have some benefits but also have risks. so we need full information. we need to lift some of these restrictions that have been imposed on congress and on center for disease control and others that prevent us from getting full information about what are the best ways to prevent gun violence. host: what's the current standard or law when it comes to liability for gun manufacturers? guest: well, there was a law
passed in 2005 at the behest of the gun lobby. which restricted liability in some ways and its scope is contested in the courts. but it basically provides some negligent gun companies to get off the hook when they were negligent with any other product, including a b.b. gun, that they could be held liable. as a result there are victims of gun violence who are really victims of negligent conduct, who have been thrown out of court. their civil rights have been denied. fortunately representative adam schiff from california is introducing legislation which would undo the damage from this law and it would essentially say gun companies are not going to be discriminated against, they're not going to be held to an unkuhly -- undulyy high
standard. however if they're negligent, if they create a defective product they should be liable lee like any other manufacturer, seller. that makes a lot of sense and we hope that will be passed by the congress. host: and according to the a.t.f. in 2010 there were 5.4 million firearms manufactured in the united states. 2.2 million of those were pistols, 1.8 million rifles. shot buns -- guns, 743,000 and revolvers, 558,000. last call for our guest comes from mike in texarcanaa, independent line. caller: good morning. host: we're listening. caller: thank you for taking my call. let me give you a little background. i'm a 61-year-old disabled vietnam veteran. i suffer from severe post traumatic stress disorder. i probably should not own a weapon. i have a 3030 caliber
winchester that i hunt dear with. i have a muzzle loader by powder and an old-style single-action pistol. and in my particular situation, i don't deal with stress very well and i turn to anger pretty quickly. so i guess i'm trying to tell that you people with severe posttraumatic stress, whether they're ex-military or not, should probably be disqualified from carrying a weapon. my second thing is -- host: before you go to your second thing, would you give up your weapons voluntarily? caller: yes, sir, i would. with the help of my neighbors, i would. host: have you thought about doing that? caller: yes, i have. host: but you still own them at this point. caller: yes, sir. i at night lay in bed and wonder about this about using them on my own self. the second thing i wanted to know was, the basis of this
whole argument is the second amendment. if appalls me that the obvious ignorance of people that do not know what the second amendment even says. they just know what the n.r.a. tells them or their neighbor tells them. the second amendment, if you read it, i wish y'all would read it because it's very short, it was for a regulated militia. in school and in the military, i learned what regulated is. it's regulation. it's rules, you have to live by those rules. anybody who has a bunch of ar-15's and ak-47's and fight the government, i feel sincerely sorry. ask the people in waco how that worked out for them. they had multi-round weapons. how did that work out for waco? you think -- stand by. we have weapons that you wouldn't even believe in that can wipe out a city block in a second. and so you think you're keeping
your guns to fight an invasion of an invading army. for heaven's sake, people, wake up. read the second amendment and see what it says. most of the people haven't even read it. host: that's mike in texarcana, arkansas. final comment. guest: well, mike, thank you for your service to our country and i do hope that you seriously consider what's the appropriate thing to do with your guns, for your sake and for your family's sake. you seem very insightful about what is the correct decision for you personally. and i hope you follow through with that. and as far as the second amendment, the basic point is that the second amendment allows for reasonable regulations of guns. allows for safety laws and it also recognizes that the president pointed out yesterday that we have other rights as
well. we have rights to live in safety. we haveritis to peaceably assemble. and the second amendment can't be interrupted in a way that infringes on those rights. there's a balance we can strike which respects the second amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, allows for sensible public safety laws, supreme court's made that clear. and that's where the american people are at, that's where most gun owners are at. and i think that's the sort of sensible reforms, the universal background checks, that we're going to end up with at the end of the day. in this congress. host: and we have been talking with jon lowy of the brady center here on the "washington journal." thank you for your time this morning. >> thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> vice president biden headed the president's task force on gun violence. michael nutter, the mayor of philadelphia, seated at the dais now.
he will introduce the vice president. he's currently the president of the u.s. conference of mayors. we'll have the vice president, vice president biden, live here when he gets under way on c-span. until then, back to the conversation on gun violence from this morning's "washington journal." host: this is the president's plan to protect our children and our communities by recusing gun violence. this may be 20 pames long. so it's kind of an executive summary-type thing. but, we went through and we picked out all of the money items where money was specifically mentioned and very quickly i want to run through some of those money items. and this is to improve incentives for states to share information. it's written that the department of justice will invest $20 million in f.y. 2013 to give states stronger incentives to make more data
available including criminal history records and records of persons prohibited from having guns for mental health reasons. that's one mention of money. help communities across the country keep 15,000 cops on the street. the president is calling on congress to act on the administration's $4 billion proposal to help keep 15,000 cops on the street in cities and towns across the nation. and a couple more money proposals. congress should provide an additional $14 million to help train 14,000 more police officers and other public and private personnel to respond to active shooter situations. another money issue. and the administration is calling on congress to provide $10 million for the centers for disease control to conduct further research including investigating the relationship between video games, media images and violence.
better understand how and when firearms are used in violent death. congress should invest an additional $20 million to expand a system to research gun violence protection. it's to expand a system from the current 18 states. put up to 1,000 new school resource officers and school counselors on the job. the program will give $150 million to school districts and law enforcement agencies to hire school resource officers, school psychologists, social workers and counselors and other money items. and finally this money item, the administration is proposing a new $50 million initiative to help 8,000 more schools train their teachers and other school staff to implement the strategies that have been discussed. now, we want to hear from you on the mental health aspects and we're going to begin with a
call from chris in springfield, missouri, democrats line. chris, good morning, you're on the air. caller: good morning, thank you for taking my call. i can say i've had a little experience. i've had a gun shoved in my face and several times through businesses and personal things. and i've always wondered whether or not the real fact of it is when somebody even thinks about or is going to shoot somebody, that's probably generally a mental health problem. i mean, just to think of somebody who murders somebody, they have to be crazy just to even think that. but i think part of the other reason is i agreed with your previous caller that maybe it's time we compare to the regulations instead of worrying about taking our rights away, we think about it from the aspect of an automatic. when you -- you have to have a license to drive, you have to have a license to own an automatic, you have to take a test. test. nobody